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Electronic fare system coming to BC Transit buses in Port Alberni

Paper, cash payment still options for the time being
BC Transit user scanning their monthly transit pass on the mobile app Umo to ride the bus. (Ella Matte/News Staff)

A new, electronic payment method will be coming to city buses across Port Alberni in December.

Port Alberni city council agreed during a meeting on Monday, Nov. 13 to enter into a five-year agreement with BC Transit to have the Umo payment platform used in the community. The new agreement will commence in December 2023.

Earlier this year, BC Transit started moving to an electronic fare collection system with the mobile app Umo (pronounced “you-mo”) in transit systems across the province.

The Umo app offers bus riders a contactless payment option on their phones. Riders can purchase a monthly pass, a day pass or the regular bus fare. When travelling, riders open their app on their phone to display a QR code that serves as their fare and present it to a new onboard digital validator.

Along with managing bus fare, the Umo app provides riders with additional tools to help them plan their trip, including real-time information, maps and alerts that will inform them when they’re nearing their stop while travelling. Additionally, the Umo app will remind riders when their fare product is running low on funds or nearing its expiration date.

BC Transit says paper tickets will remain an option for the time being and reviewed at a future date once Umo has been in place for a period of time to understand the impacts and need of this method moving forward. Cash will also remain as a payment option for those riders that choose or need to use it.

— with files from Ella Matte

Elena Rardon

About the Author: Elena Rardon

I have worked with the Alberni Valley News since 2016.
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